This week, Kate Urbach, Caroline Harrington and Taylor Jeffrey traveled to South by Southwest in Austin to represent Havas PR and help host a panel on pop-up activism. Here is what they learned. Continue Reading →
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Although people know Facebook and Twitter pretty well as the dominant social media platforms, Kickstarter is among those gaining momentum. For people who aren’t familiar with it, Kickstarter is an online threshold pledge system for funding creative projects. The platform has funded a diverse array of endeavors, ranging from indie films and music to journalism and food-related projects. Kickstarter facilitates the gathering of monetary resources from the general public, and the user must collect a goal amount of funds before Kickstarter will help produce a teaser for promotional use.
The New York Times wrote this about it last year:
In the world of small-project finance, Kickstarter is pioneering its own niche. It is not a charity site like DonorsChoose.org, which solicits tax-deductible donations for classroom projects. Nor is it a peer-to-peer microlender like Prosper or Lending Club, in which people can post their borrowing needs and individuals finance pieces of it. And it is not an investment firm.
The platform caught the attention of Bear Frazer, veteran music writer and longtime contributor to FIGHT! magazine—the top-selling mixed martial arts (MMA) publication on the planet (to which I also contribute)—who is in the midst of launching an MMA movie franchise called The Bam Theory.
Looking to build grassroots awareness, Frazer has teamed up with Kickstarter to raise $3,200 by Oct. 30 to shoot three scenes for the biopic. He plans on using the scenes as a vehicle to form strategic partnerships with a studio in hopes of filming the entire movie in the near future.
Frazer describes his script as the Rocky for a new generation of mixed martial arts fans. The Bam Theory follows 23-year-old Bam Thomas, a small-town mixed martial artist who is hesitant to chase his dreams of becoming a UFC fighter because of the tragedy that surrounds him—be it with faith, his father’s suicide or the dead-end job he works to help keep his mother’s house out of foreclosure. His friends aren’t cage warriors, but all the characters are fighting for the virtually same thing: hope—the hope that dreams can come true.
Frazer hopes the same for his dream. He still has a ways to go with funding but has received moral support from the MMA community. FIGHT! Editor-in-Chief Donovan Craig has worked closely with Frazer since the publication’s inception in 2007 and believes Frazer has the work ethic and drive to make The Bam Theory a success. “Bear Frazer is a talented journalist with a real command of what’s cool in the worlds of MMA, fashion and music,” Craig says. “It’s a pleasure to work with him.”
The Kickstarter dream isn’t too far-fetched. The platform has already helped several people get closer to their film aspirations, including Miao Wang, who premiered her movie Beijing Taxi at the South By Southwest Film Festival earlier this year, and writer Joey Brenneman, who will live-stream her play “Better Left Unsaid” from a New York City stage to TV after successfully raising more than $20,000 through Kickstarter.
It’s uncertain if Frazer will meet his goal by the end of the month, but he is thankful for the support from the MMA community and media awareness generated through Kickstarter. Aspiring filmmakers and artists like him can benefit from this online platform, whether financially or as a networking assist. It all just starts with mixing up ideas and getting them seen.
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